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Arts and Entertainment | Review

At Proenza Schouler, big, rugged tent-like clothes for the hard times ahead

By Robin Givhan

September 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post/)

NEW YORK — After presenting their Proenza Schouler collections in Paris for the past several seasons, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough brought their New York-born brand home for spring 2019. And it was filled with references to a rugged, wide-open Americana.

[Robin Givhan at New York Fashion Week: full coverage]

Everything was big: the dresses, the pants, the bags. It was the fashion equivalent of man-spreading, of taking up space. This was big-shouldered America on the runway. It was disconcerting in its wide-legged swagger. But that’s also what made it interesting.

Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

The designers were inspired by the work of German artist Isa Genzken, who created an installation for the show’s setting — an unfinished loft space of raw concrete on Wall Street. Her sculpture used garments from Proenza Schouler, as well as a mishmash of mannequins, spray cans and plastic tarp. The result was like a chaotic glimpse of a Seventh Avenue street corner, like seeing the blue-collar labor of fashion tarted up for inspection.

Isa Genzken installation at the Proenza Schouler spring 2019 show. (Proenza Schouler/)

For the designers, this collection seemed looser and a bit bleaker than in the past. This take on American style notes the storm clouds and tornadoes rolling in over the plains. Much of the denim is faded. The vests flap over boxy shirts. The dresses form a tent around the body.

A small household’s worth of possessions could fit in one of those enormous bags. But if a woman ever filled one up, it would be impossible to carry. So that bag really is just for effect. All that space goes to waste.

Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)
Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)
NEW YORK, NY – Sept 10: Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Photo by Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo For The Washington Post)
Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)
Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

This isn’t a glamorous collection depicting a girl about town. It’s more blue collar, with allusions to a girl who punches a clock. She’s not in the big city, but perhaps she dreams about it. She looks good on her own terms.

Proenza Schouler designers Lazarro Hernandez (left) and Jack McCollough take a bow after presenting their Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post)

But there’s also something a bit melancholy and ironic about those proportions, with everything all blown up and the body hidden. The clothes allow a woman to take up space, to claim ground. Even as she’s walking around with a giant bag that’s too big to fill.

ALSO at New York Fashion Week:

At Carolina Herrera, clothes so sweet they’ll make your teeth ache.

Beautiful fashion for real people — and Sies Marjan makes it look easy

These high-fashion sneakers weren’t cute. They weren’t clever. They were just ugly.

‘Stop calling 911 on the culture’: The powerful message Pyer Moss took to the fashion runway

The Kate Spade brand endures, in the bright, sparkly spirit of its founder. And yes, there are handbags.

Ralph Lauren’s sumptuous 50th anniversary show was the great American dream merchant at his finest

Everyone laughed at Thom Browne’s short pants. Now they’ve made him very rich.


Robin Givhan is a staff writer and The Washington Post's fashion critic, covering fashion as a business, as a cultural institution and as pure pleasure. A 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism, Givhan has also worked at Newsweek/Daily Beast, Vogue magazine and the Detroit Free Press.

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Arts and Entertainment | Review

At Proenza Schouler, big, rugged tent-like clothes for the hard times ahead

By Robin Givhan

September 11, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Proenza Schouler Spring Summer 2019 Collection. (Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post/)

NEW YORK — After presenting their Proenza Schouler collections in Paris for the past several seasons, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough brought their New York-born brand home for spring 2019. And it was filled with references to a rugged, wide-open Americana.

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